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What To Eat For Energy: A Guide to B Vitamins & Coconut

Angie Carl

I don’t know about you, but life seems so busy today…I can barely keep up most of the time. I guess it’s no surprise since most of us are now doing the jobs of three people and are expected to be on call 24-7. And thanks to the innovators at companies like Samsung and Apple, our phones have now been transformed into mini personal computers, capable of doing everything your old desktop can do and more. No wonder we don’t get enough sleep!

Have you ever noticed that you crave sugary and starchy foods on days that you’re extra tired?  Well, you’re not alone. Sleep is critical for the hormones that regulate our food cravings and appetite, and if we don’t get enough, it can wreak havoc on our metabolism.

When these hormones are out of balance, we get erroneous signals, in the form of cravings, that our bodies need energy. Our cravings command us to get some carbohydrates because they are high in sugar, which our cells need for energy. STAT. Whatever you can find… French fries, cookies, doughnuts, chips.

When we surrender to these signals and eat something carb-y, sugar floods our systems, giving us a brief feeling of euphoria and all is well. But don’t get too comfortable. It doesn’t take our bodies long to realize they have more sugar than energy needs so insulin is called in to clean up the excess and store it as fat.

This is where this process becomes a loop. Just as soon as the extra glucose has been cleared from our blood, our bodies want more energy. And guess what they want. Sugar. These sugar cravings are so powerful that they are tough to deny, even for the most disciplined individuals. A study performed on lab rats showed that the physiological addiction to sugar is stronger than that of cocaine. Scary.

Here’s an illustration of how the whole cycle works.

Our first line of defense against artificial hunger, unwanted food cravings and low energy is the B vitamins. They are vital in your body’s process of converting food into energy and regulating metabolism. If you want to feel energetic, satiated and stop sugar cravings, make sure you are getting your daily allowance of these little gems.Small deficiencies can lead to a whole host of symptoms including sluggishness or fatigue, anxiety, anemia, insomnia, muscle weakness, irritability, headaches and digestion disorders. The good news is that they are abundant in our food supply so it’s easy to get what we need.

To simplify, I’ve included a chart of the B vitamins with a brief explanation of why each is important. I’ve also included some healthy snack ideas that will keep your appetite at bay and metabolism functioning like a fine-tuned machine. If you look closely, you will notice that certain nuts & seeds, eggs and avocados appear on this list over and over. These are good sources of multiple B vitamins and are some of your best energy snacks.


Thiamin (B1): Supports metabolism & regulates appetite

  • Macadamia, pistachios, brazil nuts, pecans, cashews
  • Sunflower, chia, sesame seeds

(place rest of copy from table here)

Still need a little extra energy to get you through a tough workout or a tough day? Eat some coconut.

Fueling your body with coconut oil has been compared to putting high octane fuel in your vehicle. It ignites your body’s ability to turn food into energy and raises metabolism. We’re talking long-term sustained energy, not a quick energy spike and drop like with sugar. And it doesn’t raise blood sugar so it’s safe for diabetics!

Here’s the science in a nutshell.

Coconut oil contains a high concentration of the relatively rare and unique fats called Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs). These fatty acids are easily digested and are sent straight to the liver to be converted to energy. This creates a thermogenic effect (you’ve probably heard this term used before with diet pills), increasing our metabolism. As a result, our bodies convert food to energy more efficiently, so we burn more calories and store less fat. And as an added bonus, our cells function more efficiently which protects us from illness, speeds healing and slows degeneration and aging over time.

So if you want to have more energy and feel better overall, here is my advice: make sure you get enough sleep, eat foods rich in B vitamins and eat coconut every day.